EPA Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act
EPA is required to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for its:
- research and development activities,
- facilities construction,
- Title II wastewater treatment construction grants under Section 201 of the Clean Water Act,
- EPA-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for "new sources" as defined in Section 306 of the Clean Water Act, and
- for certain projects funded through EPA annual Appropriations Acts.
EPA is exempt from NEPA under the following statutes:
- Section 511(c) of the Clean Water Act exempts most EPA actions under the Clean Water Act from the requirements of NEPA.
- Section 7(c) of the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 793(c)(1)) exempts all EPA actions under the Clean Air Act from the requirements of NEPA.
In addition, courts have consistently recognized that certain EPA procedures or environmental reviews under enabling legislation are functionally equivalent to the NEPA process and thus exempt from the procedural requirements of NEPA. The purpose of the functional equivalence exemption is avoidance of repetitious analysis in a decision making process that functions in an equivalent way to the NEPA process.
EPA NEPA Compliance Guidance and Procedures
- Environmental Review Guide for Special Appropriation Grants
- Procedures for Implementing the Requirements of the Council on Environmental Quality on the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR Part 6)
- Statement of Policy for Voluntary Preparation of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Documents (PDF) (3 pp, 156 K, About PDF)
EPA NEPA Compliance Documents
EPA's NEPA Compliance Database contains EPA's NEPA documents, issued after August 1, 2013, for its own actions. The database includes:
- Categorical Exclusions (CE)
- Environmental Assessments (EA)
- Findings of No Significant Impacts (FONSI)
For information on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) prepared by EPA for its actions, go to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Database.